The BSc Biological Sciences course offers a unique programme of research, unrivalled teaching and some of the best practical facilities in the UK. The programme draws on our long history of cutting-edge research that has contributed to advances in human and veterinary medicine, and explores the fundamentals of biological and biomedical science that are needed to understand and develop new therapies for both human and animal diseases.

The course will give you a clear and detailed understanding of underpinning physiology and cellular and molecular biology, as well as an insight into disease mechanisms and an appreciation of comparative and integrated approaches to aid diagnosis and treatment in the future.

The course explores the basic biological sciences that inform current biomedical research and clinical practice. Biological Sciences is a hands-on course, and includes extensive practical and small-group teaching, as well as lab placements. You will be exposed to cutting-edge research in comparative physiology and medicine, livestock production and health, and animal welfare science and ethics.


“The RVC is a great place to study as they offer a lot of good lab experience, and there are really interesting modules.

“The teaching here is really great, I feel that we are being taught by researchers who are at the forefront of research themselves. It makes a lot of difference to me being part of a small specialist institution as I feel like I get a lot of support from staff and students alike. I feel completely at home.”

Aroosa Hasmi, BSc Biological Sciences


Accreditation

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

Our biosciences courses follow a ‘pathway’ approach. This means that in your first year, you study a broad range of modules providing you with a fundamental understanding of biosciences.

As you progress through your course, additional study options become available to you, culminating in a final year research project that provides you with the opportunity to choose, with a supervisor, the subject of your choice for further study.

Work placements

You will carry out investigative research projects in the second and third years of the course, and have the opportunity to undertake an industry-based placement (Certificate in Work-Based Learning and Research). The industry-based placement involves being based at an employer where you can focus on developing work place skills and industry expertise that will sit alongside the knowledge you gain throughout your course. Internal research projects will be conducted at the RVC, with supervision from a member of academic staff.

An optional MSci year provides the opportunity to carry out a more in-depth piece of original research in the fourth year of study, either at the RVC or in industry.

Please note that these are indicative modules and may be subject to change.

Year 1

- Biology of Cells (15 credits)
Gain understanding of cellular structure and function, placing particular emphasis on cellular architecture, cell communication and the processing of signals received by each individual cell, and how cells are affected by the structure and function of the specialised extracellular matrix environment. This will be combined with an introduction to homeostasis at the cellular, extracellular, tissue and organ levels of the body.

- Inheritance, Genetics and Evolution (15)
Appreciate how different characteristics are inherited leading to a fuller understanding of the mechanisms underlying all biological processes in health and disease. This module will provide a comprehensive overview of genetics from molecules to populations, and how genetics can be applied to increase our understanding of diseases and in the design of new therapies to treat them.

- Developmental Biology (15)
An introduction to the principles of developmental biology in humans and other vertebrates. By the end of the module, you will understand the concepts of how a single cell forms an embryo and how genes control this process.

- The Moving Animal (15)
Locomotion is one of the primary behaviours of daily living in humans and animals, and healthy locomotor function is essential to well-being. The aim of this module is to introduce you to the principles of movement across the range of organisational levels: from the whole organism interacting with its environment, to integrated systems, tissues, and cells. This module will provide a framework to recognise healthy and impaired locomotor function, and highlight interactions among different body systems in the whole organism. You will explore how many fundamental structures and mechanisms are shared between different body systems, and how the different systems interact and influence one another.

- Integrated Physiology I (15)
Explore the reproductive physiology in humans and other mammals from fertilisation to an adult capable of reproduction, and study the basic concepts in immunology by defining the components of the immune system, and how they work in concert to eradicate pathogens.

- Integrated Physiology II (15)
A comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of physiology using a systems-based approach. Units on fundamentals of cellular biochemistry and metabolic processes, digestive physiology, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, neurology and renal physiology, will provide a good overview of how biological processes at the cellular, tissue and organ level contribute to function of the organism as a whole.

- Problem Definition and Investigation (30)
Develop your critical and analytical thinking whilst consolidating the biological principles learned in Year One. You will work in small groups to answer scientific questions in different areas of current research strength within the various departments of the RVC. Then, you will undertake an in-depth independent library-based project focused on an active area of research, under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Through independent analysis of the scientific literature, you will review why the scientific question that you are focusing on is important, describe the methods by which it is being investigated, and provide an analysis, with appropriate conclusions, drawn from published data.

Year 2

- The Enemy Within (30 credits)
Investigate various aspects of health degeneration, through genetic differences present at birth or through changes in the genetic material leading to dysfunctional growth, how ageing affects health, as well as cancer biology and immune dysfunction. It is divided into 6 units: Genetics; Protein Malfunction and Disorders; Principles of Pathology; Cell Division and Transformation; Homeostasis, Breakdown and Repair; Immunopathology. 

- Principles of Infectious Diseases (15)
Students will gain insight into how pathogens enter the host and establish infectious.  Students will study examples of bacterial, viral and parasitic infections and will focus on principles and general concepts, with some illustrative examples.

- Control of Infectious Diseases (15)
This module will provide an introduction epidemiology. Students will analyse various strategies that can be used to prevent spread of the different pathogens (including prions).  You will appreciate how the understanding of the epidemiology of pathogens leads to better control strategies.

- Principles of Pharmacology (15)
Build further understanding of physiology and pathophysiology. The module will provide fundamental knowledge of pharmacodynamics (drug action) and pharmacokinetics (the effects of the body on drugs). This module is divided into three units: principles of drug action, drug targets and selectivity of drug action.

- Research Project (30)
Undertake a pathway-specific research project. These projects involve a topic selected by an RVC supervisor in light of the areas of expertise and cutting-edge research found within the college. However, you are welcome to propose specific topics for investigation to a supervisor in that area of expertise.

Optional modules (select one):

- Applied Pharmacology (15)
Build on the knowledge gained in ‘Principles of Pharmacology’ and discusses issues that are relevant to the clinical use of drugs. These include drug development, registration and post-marketing surveillance. The module is divided into three units: selectivity of drug action, drugs and diseases, and from drug discovery to patients and beyond. This module will be supported by guest lecturers from the pharmaceutical industry.

- Imaging of Disease (15)

An overview of the different ways in which disease processes can be visualised at the molecular, cellular, tissue and whole animal level. It is organised into three week-long blocks covering the principles of pathology, the imaging techniques used in vitro to study cells and tissues, and the techniques used in vivo to study whole animals. The module will be of interest if you plan to develop a career in biomedical or comparative research using whole animal models and/or in vitro modelling systems.

- Introduction to Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics (15)
An introduction to the concepts of animal behaviour, welfare science and ethics. You will learn how to scientifically measure behaviour and welfare, how ethical frameworks can help you decide how animals should be treated, why animals behave as they do, the physiology of stress and pain, and more. Practical sessions will include quantifying animal behaviour, applied farm animal behaviour (stockmanship), and husbandry of common livestock species.

- Introduction to One Health (15)
An introduction to One Health principles and current disease challenges, and the application of a One Health perspective to disease prevention and control. You will explore the relationships between animal, human and ecosystem health using examples of infectious and non-communicable diseases to illustrate One Health principles within an evolutionary and ecological context.

Year 3

- Research Project
Undertake an investigative hypothesis driven project or dissertation allied to your own research interests, and at the end of the year present the results in the form of a written report and as an oral presentation. These projects involve a topic selected by an RVC supervisor in light of the areas of expertise and cutting-edge research found within the college. However, you are welcome to propose specific topics for investigation to a supervisor in that area of expertise.

Optional modules:

- Advanced Concepts in Bio-business (15)
Develop a work-relevant theoretical and practical understanding of commercial innovation, within the context of human and veterinary bio-medical sciences. You will learn and experiment with the knowledge, skills and attitudes scientists need in order to play a more effective and integrated role during the development of innovative life-saving and life-enhancing products and services including new medicines, diagnostics and healthcare provision. You will be required to solve commercial problems in small groups and further develop your understanding of bioscience business, management and enterprise.

- Advanced Concepts in Reproduction (15)
Build upon the knowledge you have gained in the first year in Reproduction. You will concentrate on the veterinary applications of research and highlight how it makes a real impact on animal health and welfare. You will learn cellular and molecular aspects of reproductive biology from gonadal development and function to ovulation, fertilization and embryo and germ cells development, and establishment and maintenance of pregnancy and placental immunology in animals.

- Applied Molecular Microbiology (15)
In addition to their importance as pathogens, microbes have many beneficial uses. This module will give students the opportunity to explore the beneficial biotechnological use of microbes in the food industry, and in human and animal health. The module will explore the use of microbes as factories, microbes and food, microbes in research and microbes and health. The module will highlight the historical and state of the art applications of microbes as useful organisms, and you will have hands-on opportunities to explore how microbes can be used for the production of biopharmaceuticals.

- Advanced Skeletal Pathobiology (15)
Failures in the skeletal system, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, provide one of the major challenges to human and animal welfare. Research activities in skeletal pathobiology are commonly directed at understanding the development, growth, ageing and functional maintenance of the skeletal system as well as the evolution of bone and joint pathologies. This module will introduce you to a broad range of skeletal tissues, and explore the anatomy, physiology and functional failure and on occasion include comparative aspects of the skeletal system across species.

- Animal Behaviour and Cognition (15)
Conduct theoretical and applied training in animal behaviour science and animal cognition. You will focus on wild animals, but relevance to domesticated animals will be made clear and examples will be given. You will cover mammals and birds in depth, but will also build your understanding of reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. This module includes a dog training demonstration and a visit to a professional animal behaviour conference.

- Applied Animal Welfare (15)
Examine important animal welfare issues from a national and global perspective. Investigate and critically evaluate the demands of current and future practices on the welfare of animals under the domain of humans. This module will include visits to an abattoir, livestock market, London Zoo and to a farm.

- Comparative Animal Locomotion (30)
An exciting, hands-on introduction to the field of comparative animal locomotion at all levels. If we can understand how brains, muscles, and skeletons work together to produce locomotion, in the full context of other animals and the natural environment, then we will not only have solved one of the great mysteries of the natural world, but we stand to improve the lives of all animals, including humans, through treatment of neurological and musculoskeletal disease.

Animal locomotion is an integrative, dynamic field of study and it is currently at an extraordinary juncture. You will need a willingness to think conceptually about how animals move, and examples will be drawn across the animal kingdom so you can appreciate the breath-taking diversity of movement strategies.

- Comparative Models of Disease (15)
The role of animal models in the understanding of human and animal physiology and in the treatment of infectious diseases is controversial. Modern society is increasingly re-evaluating the value of animal life and, consequently, questioning the use of animal disease models. In this module, you will be introduced into the rationale behind the use of animal models and the increasing number of alternatives, including cells, isolated tissues, zebra fish and drosophila. You will examine the key aspects that need to be considered when developing and analysing models of disease and its uses and limitations.

- Development and Disease (15)
The nervous system is by far the most complex tissue in any animal. By understanding the molecular and cellular basis of nervous system development, we aim to understand how changes in these processes result in developmental defects – both morphological and function. For example, significant change in the morphology of the brain can be seen in conditions such as holoprosencephaly whereas functional changes are seen in autism and schizophrenia. This module will give insight into the latest research in nervous system development, and will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of how researchers employ animal models in this research and inform you of the latest applications of developmental biology research, including the use of stem cells and molecular editing techniques.

- Endocrine and Metabolic Syndromes (15)
The increasing problem of obesity in the human and pet population has resulted in a dramatic increase in research efforts to understand and influence metabolism, and treat associated side effects. We will seek to integrate the basic science of endocrinology into more translational topics relating to the diseases and syndromes associated with disorders of endocrinology and metabolism. The module will focus specifically on clinical abnormalities affecting blood glucose regulation and feeding, growth and metabolism, endocrine-related cancers, and reproductive disorders including those affecting sex differentiation and intersex.

- Epidemiology: the Bigger Picture (15)
Discover more about how diseases affect animal and human populations, and how to select the best ways to try to control diseases. You will explore what One Health is, how to investigate a disease outbreak, pandemic prevention, and what the challenges are of working with wildlife. You to discover the patterns, causes, and effects of diseases in animal populations. The key concepts of epidemiology are taught in a structured way, and case studies of pets, livestock, horses and wildlife will show you how to apply what you learn in the real world.

- Infection and Immunity (30)
Infectious diseases continue to be one of the major challenges to animal and human health worldwide, and new pathogens are emerging and spreading to new geographical ranges. An understanding of the biology of pathogens, how they behave in the host animal and animal populations, and an understanding of how the host combats infection are all requirements of modern and successful control strategies. This module will introduce you to key aspects that need to be considered when defining and controlling infectious diseases in individual animals and populations, using examples from virology, bacteriology and parasitology.

- Parasitology of Human and Veterinary Tropical Diseases (15)
Study major human and veterinary parasitic tropical diseases from the viewpoints of immunology, epidemiology, pathology, treatment and control. This module will cover major human tropical diseases caused by protozoan and helminth parasites. Major veterinary tropical parasitic diseases that cause significant production losses and/or are significant zoonoses will be covered. For each disease, interesting aspects of research conducted on these organisms will be highlighted.

- Practical Investigative Biology (15)
An intense training course in cell and molecular biology, with a view to equipping you with the practical and design skills required to undertake research in areas of molecular biology. You will complete a ‘mini-project’, where you will generate a plasmid DNA construct, amplify this in bacteria, purify and analyse the resulting DNA, then transiently express this gene in a eukaryotic cell line before analysing the effects of its expression by cell imaging techniques (confocal microscopy and flow cytometry).

- Science of Animal Welfare (15)
Undertake theoretical and methodological training in animal welfare science, which is broadly equivalent to the biology of sensations, motivation and emotions. This module will cover a range of behavioural, physiological and other indicators of diverse welfare states, illustrated with examples including wild, farm, companion, and laboratory animals. As part of this module, you will take small group tours of appropriate animals in the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals to observe behavioural indicators of pain and sickness and the efforts made to alleviate suffering.

You can also take several optional modules at King’s College London during your third year.

Teaching
The Royal Veterinary College is a dynamic place to study, where you will utilise state-of-the-art technology in our research labs, and a modern, innovative curriculum. You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and group work scenarios. The practical elements of your course will be carried out in our laboratories, and may be related to the College’s ongoing research activities.

Self-directed learning
Outside of your timetabled lectures and practical sessions, you are expected to undertake self-directed learning. Typically, this involves working on your own research project, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Teaching staff
The RVC has renowned researchers and scientists delivering each module. Our staff are passionate about their field, and they are highly qualified. All RVC students are assured teaching of the highest standard.

Teaching contact hours

In a typical week, you will have between 15 - 20 contact hours of teaching. These contact hours are usually made up from:

  • Personal tutorial, small group and practical teaching: 8 – 10 hours per week
  • Large-group teaching: 8 – 10 hours per week
  • Self-direct learning: 5 hours per week

Assessment and feedback

You will be continuously assessed throughout your course, followed by final examinations. You will also be assessed on in-course work, such as completing tests, analysing data and samples, delivering presentations, and writing essays. A major part of your biological sciences courses is the undertaking of a research project.

The estimated breakdown of assessment for your final grade is:

  • Written (coursework, which may include essays, presentations, journal clubs) - 22%
  • Examination (practical, written) – 45%
  • Projects (individual and group work, research) - 33%

The minimum academic requirements for entry to the BSc Biological Sciences programme are outlined below.

Lower offers may be made to students who meet our Widening Participation criteria.

If you do not satisfy these requirements, you may be interested in the Extended Sciences degree offered by the University of Hertfordshire. Upon successfully completing the initial year of this degree you can automatically transfer into the first year of the BSc Biological Sciences programme provided you achieve the required marks in the Biology and Chemistry modules.

Academic qualifications

Click on the links below for details of the minimum academic requirements for this course.

A Levels

EITHER:

ABB* in three A Level subjects including:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade A

OR:

BBB* in three A Level subjects including:

  • Biology or Chemistry
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. 
  • A third subject of your choice

*We also require a 'pass' in the science practical for each subject, where taking the English curriculum.

Contextual Offers

From the 2018/9 application cycle onwards, offers of a grade below in each subject will be made to those meeting certain Widening Participation (WP) criteria, i.e. a BBB offer would become CCC for WP students, an ABB offer would become BCC for WP students. No separate application is required but care leavers should submit proof from the relevant local authority once they have applied.

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For further information on our policy on reformed UK qualifications, please click here.

We support the opportunity to take additional subjects at AS Level, but do not prescribe or prefer any particular subject choices or combinations.

The non-prescribed A Level subjects should not overlap with Biology or Chemistry, and cannot be General Studies.  

See additional GCSE requirements.

Welsh, Scottish and Irish applicants

Welsh Baccalaureate

Applicants who have achieved the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate with grade B will be accepted with two A Levels, including:

EITHER:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade A
  • Another subject of your choice (excl. General Studies) at grade B

OR:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade B
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths at grade B

We support the opportunity to take additional subjects at AS Level, but do not prescribe or prefer any particular subject choices or combinations.

See additional GCSE requirements.

Contextual Offers

From the 2018/9 application cycle onwards, offers of a grade below in each subject will be made to those meeting certain Widening Participation (WP) criteria, i.e. a BB + B in Welsh Bacc. offer would become CC + C in Welsh Bacc. for WP students, an AB + B in Welsh Bacc. offer would become BC + C in Welsh Bacc. for WP students. No separate application is required but care leavers should submit proof from the relevant local authority once they have applied.

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Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

EITHER:

Advanced Highers in:

  • Chemistry or Biology at grade A
  • Another subject of your choice at grade B

OR:

Advanced Highers in:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade B
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at grade B

In addition to:

5 Highers at grade B or above

and at least National 5* grade B in:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology, Chemistry or Physics

* If you have bypassed one or more of these subjects at National 5, you will need this subject/grade at Higher level. 

Contextual Offers

From the 2018/9 application cycle onwards, offers of a grade below in each subject will be made to those meeting certain Widening Participation (WP) criteria, i.e. a BB offer would become CC for WP students, an AB offer would become BC for WP students. No separate application is required but care leavers should submit proof from the relevant local authority once they have applied.

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Irish Leaving Certificate

H2,H2,H3,H3,H3,H3 including:

  • Biology or Chemistry
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths.

If not included in the above, O3 is required in:

  • A second natural science (i.e. Biology, Chemistry or Physics)
  • English
  • Mathematics

International Baccalaureate

EITHER:

655 at Higher Level including:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade 6

OR:

555 at Higher Level including:

  • Biology or Chemistry
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths
  • One other subject of your choice

Our standard offer is based on specific subject-grade requirements, rather than a total points score.

See additional GCSE requirements below. 

Where candidates have not taken GCSEs or an equivalent qualification prior to the IB Diploma, they will need a minimum of grade 5 in:

  • SL Mathematics
  • SL English A (or grade 6 in English B)

Mathematical Studies cannot be accepted in lieu of Mathematics.

Diplomas and Further Certificates (including Access and L3 Extended Diploma)

All qualifications below are considered on top of existing Level 2 requirements (e.g. GCSEs, National 5s, O Levels, etc). If you are not sure you have equivalent qualifications, please contact us at admissions@rvc.ac.uk 

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Access to HE Diploma (England and Wales)

Diplomas must be Science based and include a minimum of:

15 Level 3 credits in Chemistry at Distinction or 15 Level 3 credits in Biology at Distinction, and with Merits achieved in all other Level 3 modules.

See the Access to Higher Education website to search for possible courses in your area. We do not accept on-line versions of the course. 

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Birkbeck College's CertHE in Life Sciences for Subjects Allied to Medicine

Merits must be achieved in the Chemistry and Biology modules.

See the Birkbeck website for further details.

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Level 3 Extended Diploma (reformed syllabus)

Applied Generals

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied Science or Applied Science (Biomedical Science)

DDD overall with Distinctions in:        

  • Principles and Applications of Science I (90)       
  • Principles and Applications of Science II (120)       
  • Science Investigation Skills (120)       
  • Contemporary Issues in Science (120)

In addition:

For Applied Science: at least three units from Group A must be taken.

For Applied Science (Biomedical Science): at least four units from Group A must be taken.

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Tech Levels

Pearson 'Animal Management with Science': DDD overall with Distinctions in:         

  • Animal Biology (120)   
  • Animal Breeding and Genetics (120)         
  • Animal Welfare and Ethics (120)        
  • Practical Skills in Animal Science (60)       
  • Animal Metabolism (60)

City & Guilds 'Animal Management (Science)': D / DDD overall with Distinctions in:         

  • Biological Systems of Animals
  • Synoptic Assessment (1) or (2)
  • Theory Exam (2)
  • Undertake Investigative Project in the Land-Based Industries

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Level 3 Extended Diploma (unreformed syllabus)

Animal Management (2010 syllabus) QCF

DDD overall required, including Distinctions in the following units:

  • Understand the Principles of Animal Nutrition 
  • Understand the Principles and Carry Out the Practice of Biochemistry and Microbiology
  • Understand the Principles of Inheritance and Genetic Manipulation 
  • Fundamentals of Science 
  • Chemistry for Biology Technicians or Understand the Principles of Chemistry for Biological and Medical Science

Applied Science (2010 syllabus) QCF

DDD overall required, including Distinctions in the following units:

  • Genetics and Genetics Engineering
  • Physiology of Human Body Systems or Physiology of Human Regulation and Reproduction
  • Using Statistics in Science or Informatics in Science

Plus two of: 

  • Biomedical Science Techniques; Chemical Laboratory Techniques; Chemistry for Biology Technicians

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Cambridge Pre-U

EITHER:

M1, M2, M2 in three Principal Subjects including:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade M1

OR:

M2, M2, M2 in three Principal subjects including:

  • Biology or Chemistry
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths
  • One other subject of your choice

Applications are welcome from those who meet our science requirements and are taking a combination of A Levels and the Cambridge Pre-U. Offers will be made on an individual basis, depending on the combinations.

GCSEs (only in addition to other qualifications)

At least grade B (6) in:

  • Science & Additional Science or two individual sciences, if taken separately
  • English Language
  • Mathematics

For further information on our policy on reformed UK qualifications, please click here.

Welsh applicants

Please note, GCSE Mathematics-Numeracy will not be accepted instead of a B in GCSE Mathematics but is welcomed alongside it, and as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate.

International and EU applicants

International entry requirements below are in line with our double-science 'BBB' offer at A Level. Those taking a single science should contact us for details of the standard offer for their qualification. 

Candidates must meet the entry requirements by means of the prescribed qualifications listed or acceptable alternative qualifications.

For advice on the acceptability of your qualifications please send details, referring to each of the relevant subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, and English) to admissions@rvc.ac.uk.

For more information useful to international applicants, please go to the International students section.

North America

USA

Graduate High School with at least four full-year Advanced Placement examinations at 4443 with Grade 4 in Biology or Chemistry, and either Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Calculus.

Alternatively, the following combinations can be accepted:

  • ACT score of 26 (including Writing test) plus APs in two sciences (as above) at Grade 4;
  • ACT score of 26 (including Writing test) plus IB Higher Level certificates in two sciences (as above) at Grade 5;
  • SAT score of 570 in each of 'Evidence-Based Reading and Writing' and 'Math', and an Essay score of 5,5,5 - plus APs in two sciences (as above) at Grade 4;
  • SAT score of 570 in each of 'Evidence-Based Reading and Writing' and 'Math', and an Essay score of 5,5,5 - plus IB Higher Level certificates in two sciences (as above) at Grade 5.

The RVC's institution code for College Board to be used when sending your results is 7970.

Please contact us for the previous SAT requirements, if you sat these prior to the revised qualification. 

Canada

As there are regional differences, please contact Admissions for province-specific requirements. BC and ON are shown below as a guide:  

British Columbia

Pass the British Columbia Certificate of Graduation with five grade 12 courses. An 86% average is required across grade 12 courses, with 86% in Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths). A minimum of 73% is required in grade 11 English and Mathematics if not achieved as part of the above.  

Ontario

Pass the Ontario Secondary School Diploma with six grade 12 'U' courses. An 86% average is required across grade 12 courses, with 86% in Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths). A minimum of 73% is required in grade 11 English and Mathematics if not achieved as part of the above.  

Caribbean

Obtain Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) unit 2 grades of II, II, II (two, two, two) in Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths) plus a third subject of your choice in addition to Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) grade II (two) in English A, Mathematics and two individual sciences from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

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Europe

Where an English grade is not specified, applicants will also need to meet one of our accepted English Language qualifications

European Baccalaureate

Pass the Baccalaureate with 75% overall, and 7.5 in elective Biology or Chemistry and Maths 5/Advanced Maths. 7 in L1 English is an accepted English language requirement.

Denmark

Pass the Bevis for Studentereksamen with grades 10,10,7,7 in four Level A subjects including Biology or Chemistry, and Maths. English required at Level B grade 10 or Level A grade 7.

France

Pass the Baccalauréat 'S' stream with 12 (mention assez bien) overall and individual grades of 13 in two out of: Biology, Physics-Chemistry or Maths. If not achieved at grade 13 as part of this requirement, Maths is required at grade 12. [OIB Anglais: if 14 is achieved in English, no further English language qualification is required].

Iceland

Pass the Stúdentspróf (natural science specialisation) with 7 in Biology or Chemistry and 7 in Maths. 9 is required in English. 

Italy

Pass the Diploma di Esame di Stato from a Liceo Scientifico with 80 overall and individual grades of 8 in Biology or Chemistry, and 8 in Maths. 

Malta

Pass University of Malta Matriculation Certificate with BB at Advanced Level in Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths), and BBB in three Intermediate Level subjects. If not included as an Intermediate subject, grade 3 must be achieved in Maths as part of the Secondary Education Certificate. Alternatively, IGCSE/O Levels in Maths and a science at grade B are accepted. English may be accepted if taken as a first language; please contact admissions. 

Netherlands

Pass the VWO (Natuur profiel) with 7 overall and the following individual grades: 7 and 8 in two sciences to include Maths and either Biology or Chemistry; 9 in English

Norway

Pass the Vitnemal - videregaende opplaering (Natural sciences and mathematics stream) with 4 overall and 4 in Biology or Chemistry, and 4 in Maths and English. 

Poland

Pass the Polish Świadectwo Dojrzałości (Matura) with 70% average and 75% in Advanced Level Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths), plus 75% in Standard/Basic Level Maths where not taken at Advanced Level. 

Portugal

Pass the Diploma Nível Secundário de Educação with 16 overall and 17 in Biology or Physics-Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Physics-Chemistry or Maths). 15 must be achieved in Maths if not used as the second science. 

Romania

Pass the Diplomă de Bacalaureat (science stream) with 8 overall and individual grades of 8.5 in Biology or Chemistry, and 8.5 in Maths. 

Serbia

Pass the Diploma o položenom završnom ispitu/Matura with 4 overall and 4 in Biology or Chemistry, and 4 in Maths. 

Slovakia

Pass the Vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške with 2,2,2,2 including 2 in Biology or Chemistry, and 2 in Maths.

Slovenia

Pass the Maturitetno spričevalo (Matura) with 20 overall and 4 in Biology or Chemistry, and 4 in Maths.

Spain

Pass the Bachillerato with 8 overall and individual grades of 8 in Biology/Biology-Geology or Chemistry/Physics-Chemistry, and 8 in Maths. 

Sweden

Pass the Avgångsbetyg / Slutbetyg från Gymnasieskola (Naturvetenskapsprogrammet) with BCC in Biology or Chemistry, a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics) and a third subject. A minimum of grade C should be achieved in Mathematics, Physics and English C.

Switzerland

Pass a Federal Maturity Certificate or Federally Recognised Cantonal Maturity Certificate with an overall average of 4.6 (on the 6-point scale) including 4.5 in Biology and Chemistry as the Schwerpunktfach/Option Spécifique. A minimum of 4.0 in Maths.

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Asia

Hong Kong

Obtain the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades 544 in Biology, Chemistry and one other elective subject, plus grade 4 in Maths and grade 5 in English core subjects. We will consider Maths as an elective subject in place of either Biology or Chemistry, provided both the compulsory and the extended modules are taken with grades 5* (compulsory part) and 5 (extended part).

Malaysia

Obtain the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) with grades BBB in three Principal level subjects including Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths). In addition, grade 4/B is required in the SPM in Maths and two of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Grade B must be achieved in English (first language) at either O Level (1119), or as part of the STPM.

Singapore

Obtain grades BBB at H2 level in three Singapore A Level subjects including Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths). In addition, O Level grade B is required in Maths, English (first language) and two out of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

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Oceania

All references to English below are to first-language English only. If you are studying English as a second language, please see our accepted English Language qualifications.

Australia

As there are significant regional differences, please contact Admissions for state-specific requirements. NSW is shown below as a guide:  

New South Wales

Pass the Higher School Certificate (HSC) with the following 2-unit Category-A Board Developed Courses: Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths) plus one other at band 4; English and Maths must be achieved to at least band 3 if not part of the above. An ATAR score of 75% is required. 

New Zealand

Obtain the University Entrance Certificate with National Certificate in Educational Achievement Level 3 with Merit overall including in Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths). Minimum of NCEA Level 2 Merit grades required in English and Maths.

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Some countries' education systems are not equivalent to A Levels in the UK. The programmes below are designed to give you that equivalent level of study so you can apply for our programmes:

University of London Foundation programmes for International Students (UK-based)

UCL University Preparatory Certificate for Science & Engineering (UPCSE) for International Students

You must take Chemistry and a second Science subject as Core Units. You must achieve 65% overall in the Certificate, and 65% in Chemistry and the second Science Unit.

View website for more information on the programme. 

These requirements assume that you have met the standard entry requirements for UPCSE: if you have entered that course with special circumstances or through a different route, please see advice for International and EU applicants, above.

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Other qualifications

For advice on the eligibility of other qualifications, please contact Admissions at admissions@rvc.ac.uk. Please note, we typically do not accept Foundation years unless otherwise advertised.

Email: admissions@rvc.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7468 5147

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 or above with minimum 6.5 in each component

All applicants must have an acceptable English Language qualification, many of which are listed under 'Academic qualifications' above. Please see our English Language Requirements page for a list of qualifications we accept as alternatives.

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FAQs

Does it count against me if I re-sit a qualification?

No, we accept re-taken grades or modules at GCSE and A-Level or equivalent without penalty for this programme. 

Can I re-apply if I've been unsuccessful previously?

We accept repeat applications for this course and new applications will be treated separately from any previous one. 

What will I be able to do with my degree?

The RVC's BSc Biological Sciences is a challenging yet rewarding course that will equip you with practical techniques and transferable skills for a range of careers allied to veterinary science, scientific research, conservation, animal welfare and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

As this is a new degree programme (our first cohort will graduate in 2017), we are currently unable to provide specific details of what our graduates have gone on to do. However, graduates of Biosciences programmes have a plethora of opportunities open to them, including in research and academia, animal welfare and charities, the pharmaceutical and bioscience/biotech industries, the health sector, and graduate schemes in sectors as diverse as the finance and government. 

You may also be interested in looking at the career pages for our BSc Bioveterinary Sciences course as this will give you an idea of the career prospects for RVC graduates of our BSc courses.

 The tuition fees for students commencing the course in 2018/19 are as follows:

UK/EU Tuition FeesInternational Fees

Island Fees (Channel Islands & Isle of Man)

£9,250 £18,570 £10,500


Tuition fee amounts are subject to increase each academic year, please be aware of this when making your calculations and planning how much money you will require.

  • For Sandwich/ Placement year fees for UK, EU and international students see link 
  • Students from countries outside the European Union (EU) who wish to undertake full-time study at the RVC are required to pay the international fee for their programme of study (please see Fee status section).
  • Information on Fees & Funding for existing students can be found here

Funding Options

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